What is cashmere?
Cashmere is a fine luxury fibre obtained from the cashmere goat. Sourced from goats grazed at high altitude, it is among the warmest and softest wool fibres. Products made from cashmere can therefore be made lighter, keeping you just as warm without bulk.
Unlike fleece, cashmere is not derived from petrochemicals and is 100% natural.
How is cashmere fibre traditionally obtained?
Quality cashmere wool is combed from the goat during its natural spring moulting period, typically from the neck and underbelly. Longer coarse hairs are separated by hand as a lower quality batch, so that the remaining harvest is comprised of the fine fibres.
The traditional harvest yields the extreme softness of fine cashmere wool, compared with more mass-produced and lower quality cashmere, which are typically shorn off the goat. It is also the least stressful harvest method.
Learn more about cashmere softness on our blog.
FAQs for buying cashmere
Why is some cashmere a lot more expensive?
100% pure fine grade cashmere will of course be more expensive than generic quality mass-produced cashmere.
In addition, a much cheaper product may have been mixed with other wools or even cotton thread, which allows the price to be dropped markedly. In less reputable markets - whether online or in physical stores - this may be true even when the label says '100% pashmina'. (Read more of our personal experience finding this out at the blog...)
We can't speak for others, but Ethical Cashmere will always stock 100% authentic cashmere. Among the factors that determine value for Ethical Cashmere products include:
How much cashmere is used
Thicker scarves, woven more tightly for greatest warmth, use a lot more cashmere fibre by weight.
Quality of the cashmere fibre
Cashmere of different fineness has a different value. High grade cashmere is softest and therefore more expensive.
As it is more expensive, and intended to be woven into the best quality product, additionally only master weavers are entrusted with this material. The reason? They weave without mistakes or breakages that will need to be repaired.
What do I need to know about cashmere colour?
Cashmere is a natural hollow fibre, which is the reason for its exceptional warmth while remaining lightweight. The hollow fibre also gives cashmere its lustre, which means that cashmere may appear to vary slightly in shade under different lighting conditions. The effect seems to be more pronounced in paler products. This is completely natural and is what differentiates this luxury fabric from inferior fabrics such as cotton or sheep's wool that has a flat colour effect.
Do I need to clean my cashmere?
Your cashmere product naturally does not need to be cleaned frequently. Cashmere fabrics get even softer with time and use. However, should you decide to clean your scarf, we suggest dry cleaning.
Does Ethical Cashmere ship internationally?
Yes, we do. At the moment we do not offer free international shipping, except for our Ethical Cashmere Community VIPs or as part of ad hoc promotions.
International shipping times will vary, and generally 6+ days after we ship your purchase. Please enquire for specific shipping time estimates.
Orders being shipped to addresses outside of Australia may require the recipient to pay local duties and taxes upon delivery. We regret that at this time, we are not able to offer international shipping with duties and taxes pre-paid. If such fees are imposed by local law, they are additional to the quoted price and are paid by the recipient. Enquiries are welcome for specific countries; we may have shipped there before and could advise past experience.
Ethical Cashmere Community
We consider subscribers to our newsletters as part of our community!
We aim to replicate as much as we can the highland ways of relating, and so will aim to only share community-only deals and updates that we think you'll find interesting, at no more than about once a month. You will never be spammed.
We also welcome feedback, whether directly to our email or via our contact form. It allows us to understand better what sorts of things you like hearing about, and what is not as suitable. In a long-distance and virtual setting, we can't see body language to adjust our communication!
How do we qualify for Ethical Cashmere Community VIP?
Our returning customers, as well as customers spending A$300 and above in a single order, are automatically qualified. Our VIPs additionally receive:
- Welcome gift code
- FREE international shipping
- Priority returns policy (exempted from processing and shipping costs, subject to prior agreement of return)